Nashville’s Southern Sophistication

March 8, 2009 • Magazine

Nashville's Southern Sophistication

Nashville's Southern Sophistication

Sun, 2009-03-08 09:00

Gabbie Perez

When you think of Nashville, you immediately think of the country music capital of the world, not a city of fashion, right? Think again. I have to admit I was a bit unsure about writing a piece about Nashville, but my preconceived opinions about the city proved to be wrong. The eclectic shops and styles of Nashville reflect the sophistication of this growing metropolis, yet it maintains its southern charm.

Venus & Mars- The Showroom
2009 Belmont Boulevard
Co-owned by supermodel and Nashville resident, Karen Elson, this is one of the best vintage stores I have ever been in. The shop features rare high-end finds (like Christian Louboutin pumps circa 1979), but also cheap and cheerful vintage dresses and jewels (like art deco-inspired earrings). It is an old house converted into a treasure chest of vintage finds for women and men. And did I mention how reasonable the prices are?

Fire Finch
1818 21st Avenue South
Located in the trendy Hillsboro Village near Vanderbilt University, this small shop is richly packed with quirky creations from local and international artists. From one of a kind journals and stationary to kitschy dinnerware and home decorations, you are likely to lose hours in here just looking at all the eccentric merchandise (much like I did!).

Manuel Exclusive Clothier
1922 Broadway
Manuel Martinez is a legend of country music – not from singing or producing hits, but from designing and customizing duds for most of the country music industry. Nicknamed the ‘Rhinestone Rembrandt’, Manuel specializes in ‘country couture’, or rather sequined jackets, jumpsuits, and capes. If you’re considering a custom-made rhinestone creation, they run between $5,000 and $20,000.

Ernest Tubb Record Shop
417 Broadway
Situated around the corner from the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ernest Tubb is a landmark of country music. Although I was born and raised in Texas, I’m not a fan of country music (I’ll take some good electro instead, please). But when I stepped foot into Ernest Tubb Record Shop, I instantly connected with my southern roots. I assume the shop hasn’t changed much since it opened over 60 years ago, complete with creaky hard wood floors and autographed headshots of early country stars on the walls. If you’re looking for a re-release of an early Johnny Cash album or the latest from Alan Jackson, I promise you will find it at Ernest Tubb.

1. Nashville Skyline
2. Venus and Mars – The Showroom
3. Fire Finch
Italian Leather Clutch $53
Circus of Journals $9 each
4. Manuel Custom Duds
5. Ernest Tubb Record Shop

Photos: Gabbie Perez (unless indicated otherwise)
Image Layout: Minette Higden

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